Customizing an Amplifier’s PSAT Output Level

In an RF lineup with two amplifier stages (driver and final), there are times when you want to limit the saturated output power (PSAT) of the driver stage. This might be to protect the input of the final amplifier from being damaged. Often the problem is solved by selecting a device with the desired PSAT characteristic. When such a device can’t be found, there is a simple, but effective, way to limit PSAT by using resistive feedback. The feedback resistor is placed in series with the driver amplifier power supply. Note that this effort to limit driver PSAT assumes that linearity is not a concern.

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